Award for carpentry apprentice who follows her father into the industry

Layla Williams from Stansted

Layla Williams from Stansted has won the Apprentice Award category in the Eastern Counties division of the Federation of Master Builders 2021 Awards. - Credit: Federation of Master Builders 2021 Awards

A carpentry apprentice from Stansted Mountfitchet who followed her father into the industry has won a top regional building award.

Layla Williams, 17, has won the Apprentice Award category of the Eastern Counties division of the Federation of Master Builders 2021 Awards.

Layla Williams from Stansted

Layla Williams from Stansted has won the Apprentice Award category in the Eastern Counties division of the Federation of Master Builders 2021 Awards. - Credit: Federation of Master Builders

The awards recognise excellence in small and medium-sized construction companies. FMB is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry, and is celebrating its 80th anniversary.

Layla said: “I’m really proud of myself that I have won. I wasn’t expecting it. I’m a bit shocked! I think it sends a good message to other women wanting to get into construction."

Layla was nominated by her father Mathew Williams.


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After finishing school in June 2019, Layla began her carpentry apprenticeship with her father’s company, JKL Construction & Carpentry Ltd.

At first, Layla found some of the more physically demanding aspects of the role challenging, like carrying tools and materials.

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After encouragement, Layla realised that physical strength takes time to develop.

She completed her coursework when her college, Harlow College, was closed.

Layla Williams from Stansted

Layla Williams from Stansted has won the Apprentice Award category in the Eastern Counties division of the Federation of Master Builders 2021 Awards. - Credit: Federation of Master Builders

Mathew Williams said: “Carpentry is a career Layla has had her eye on from a young age and she has overcome several challenges involved in embarking on a career in a male dominated industry with a keenness and determination that is quite frankly inspiring.

“It is felt by all that encounter Layla on site that her enthusiasm for carpentry and the building trade in general is admirable and that she will go far in her chosen career.

“Layla is very conscious that she is working for her parent’s business and has always been very keen to be treated as any other employee would be, which I think shows her maturity, strength of character and willingness to achieve and progress positively in her carpentry career.”

John Watson, Director for FMB Central, said: “Layla Williams is a great role model for the industry. I hope her success will encourage more young women to think construction is the career for them.

“After a tough year for builders and their clients, I’m pleased the online ceremony gave us plenty of reasons to be cheerful.”

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